Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Paterson: Book II, Chapter I, p. 52

Imagined Indians / the Ground Spoke

Looking past

suction-cup arrows

and cheap plastic bows,

my brother settles

on a toy wooden

musket and coonskin

cap, hung to the left

of the sale window

in a Blue Ridge

tourist store.

Our parents buy a

second set, and we’re

matched the rest

of the day:

exchanging empty

rifle cracks from behind

the boulders along

the clean hiking paths

to the top of the


At the summit,

my brother raises

the butt of his gun

and rams it against

my cheek; his face: red,

angry. Our mother

scolds him, reminds him

we’re brothers; we don’t

fight with each other;

we’re not savages.

In the afternoon,

our father buckles us

both into the back-

seat of our car, and we

close our eyes for the

long, winding drive back

down the Parkway: two

Boones, two Crocketts, foe-

less, now, and silent;

sleeping on and off.

I have a picture

at home: A doe-skinned

Mother, papoosed,

paused mid-stride along

a game trail, bare foot

lifted and waiting

to slip silently

into the oil-painted

underbrush. White streaks

filter down through the trees.

Caps in my pocket,

striped raccoon tail pinched

in the nape of my

neck, I imagine

Indians, smooth, dark,

hatchets in hand, bows

on their backs, quiet –

each frozen in step

as our car turns tightly

around another corner.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Paterson: Book II, Chapter I, p. 52-53

Mount (Mount)
Mount Garrett

Two hundred steps up a dirt road,
and then two hundred more from an old lookout tower
bring you to a flat rock with no trees in front of it. From there,
You have a view of Paterson, the West end of Passaic,
And in the distance (a bit purpled),
New York.

I think everyone looks for the Towers first,
and then they look away quickly, as if their look had caught
the city undressing.
There are plenty of other nice buildings to see:
the Chrysler. Empire State.
The whole lot of them are much closer than you would think,
maybe an hour by train.

There are so few sounds from here,
and although this (mount) is small,
there are no others between here and the City.
New York is flat and static on the horizon and
Paterson moves beneath it, wriggling,
even undulating, it seems,
as the backs of cars appear
and then disappear
between buildings.

But not for anything. It’s just gray and
white and brown and
red roofs and houses and street
lights and streaks of resurfaced asphalt;
an empty and crumbling stadium,
an apartment building with dark windows and
open, dirty curtains; a half-dozen
cheaply stucco-ed hotels littered near
the Turnpike, all smaller
than the silhouettes that give them
any meaning at all.

It’s a lot to throw out ten miles of _________ ,
but four hundred steps make it easier.
In any case,
the walk back is slowed by the frozen patches of mud that have
thawed while we were taking more pictures
than were necessary.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Paterson: Book II, Chapter I, p. 45

Walking (Fig. 6B)

Feet bear
especially heels

heavy heat
still, bare
on hardwood.

less, however,
Fig. 6B
when walking

one imagines
point between
hip foot

there rolls
except ground.

One waits
on another
the great

catch up
move spool
for worth.

Meaning through
the foot
roll up

numbers or
Fig. 6B
nothing noting

joints’ ligaments
stretch bear

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Some Technical Housekeeping

I've added an updated page to archive.org with our songs on it. However, you no longer need to go over there. Just click on the flash player on the right.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A New List! Paterson: Book Two, Chapter I

* NOTE * Paterson: Book Two, Chapter I spans pages 41 to 61 in the 1995 New Directions edition of the complete Paterson, editor Chris MacGowan.

To the festivities! A new and incredibly awesome list of titles is ready! Proceed with jubilation:

Paterson: Book Two, Chapter I
(Catastrophe of the Falls)

1. Dr. Paterson's Walk from the Cliff; or, Two White Towers [p. 43-61]
2. (so close are we to ruin every day!) [p. 45]
3. Walking (Fig. 6B) [p. 45]
4. Unrequited; or, Exiling One's Self From One's Self / Another Letter Unanswered [p. 45]
5. "How Do I Love You? These!" / Preceding Whispered Voices [p. 45]
6. An American Occupation [p. 46]
7. The German Singing Societies of Paterson Present: "Not On This Ground!" [p. 46]
8. "A Great Crowd, A Great Beast!" or, McNulty has a Plan [p. 46]
9. Pecking Order [p. 46]
10. Imagination; or, Pheasants in Flight [p. 47-48]
11. Chapultapec! Grasshopper Hill! [p. 47-49]
12. M.N. to W.C.W. / W.C.W. [never] to M.N. [p. 45, 48]
13. combating sleep/------------/the sleep [p. 49]
14. Officer Goodridge's Encounter; or, The Little Critter That Had Caused So Much Fun, 1939 [p. 49]
15. A New Mind, A New Measure [p. 50]
16. Lovers in the Park [p. 50-52, 54-55, 58-61]
17. Imagined Indians / the Ground Spoke [p. 52]
18. MountMt.GarrettMt. [p. 52-53]
19. The Bitch and the Man in the Park [p. 53]
20. Musty: A Love Story [p. 53-54]
21. "A Great Crowd, A Great Beast!" or, Voices Lifted in Voices [p. 54]
22. The Quaking of the Great City / The Capital of Call and Response [p. 55-56]
23. Hungarian Metronome; or, Time Over the Falls [p. 55]
24. A Song for Nothing [p. 55]
25. Eisenstein's Heavenly Man! [p. 57-58]
26. (Priapus!) [p. 58]
27. 3000 Years, 3000 Lovers [p. 58-61]
28. Desire and the Evangelist [p. 59]
29. Rush Over the Falls: A Good Dream [p. 59-60]
30. A Town Spread, A River Accepted [p. 60]
31. A Horn, A Trumpet! / Meaning Therein [p. 61]
32. To Be Good Dogs. [p. 61]

So, the new rules: any response is a valid response, and any post is a responsive post. What do you guys think so far?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another Quick Update: A Substitution of Centers

So, Conversely and I have decided that we are returning, so to speak, to the Paterson Project: instead of just fleshing out the musical aspect of the original project, we will be continuing that work (which is pretty arduous, for a variety or reasons, not the least of these being that neither Conversely nor I are particularly talented musicians) AND we will be beginning a poetic dissection and flowery-offshoot-eruption-(can i say eruption?)-re-creation of Paterson: Book II, Ch. 1. We are working on titles for this section now, and, man, we are excited. First of all, the poetic rules are going to change a bit, as the liberty (thank you, George Rogers Clark) to expand from the geographical locus of Paterson, N.J. has been discussed between the two of us and we agree that, NO!, these poems should happen, as much as a poem happens, wherever and whenever we think appropriate. This means little to you, but it is a great and exciting bit of news to us. More important to you is this: similar rules of media and form are also being relaxed, so don't be surprised if songs come before poems or pictures come before songs or whatever whatever whatever. It's all fun times, now.

So, you can probably expect a new list of prospective titles in the next week or so. Until then, I leave you with Conversely's favorite so far:

Poem 5; or, "How Do I Love You? These!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

A New Song Surfaces

Wow. Has it been four months since we last posted something on here? That's awful - and I'm sure that means we've lost our entire readership...so, bummer. BUT, for those of you willing to give us a second (third? fourth?) chance, I have something truly spectacular for you.

Another song.

Our dear, dear (talented) friend Gaston LaValle has recorded another Paterson song, this one based around the second part of the Hatian President/His Women sequence. In my personal opinion, this is the finest song yet released - maybe ever released - and it is well worth your four and a half minutes. To hear it, simply click the following link or, if you're old school, click the link on the right hand side of the page.


Also, Conversely and I will begin putting up "lyrics" to correspond with each poem soon, so be on the lookout for that. And if you can't help yourself and you are a huge fan of our sporadic, often self-indulgent updates, we have begun a second Paterson-esque project over at mappedspacetoenactment.blogspot.com. It's a much longer name, so it must be much better, right?


Signing off for now,
T. Az